Tag Archives: Paul Ryan

In Wisconsin, It’s Game On

Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics breaks down Wisconsin which is quickly becoming Battleground central of the 2012 election:

Is Wisconsin the new Ohio? It’s beginning to feel that way. As the presidential race hurtles toward a dramatic conclusion, both campaigns are suddenly locked in an intense battle to win the Badger State and its 10 Electoral College votes.

Polls

A new poll from Rasmussen Reports underscored just how close the contest has become here: President Obama and Mitt Romney were tied at 49 percent each in the poll of likely voters, conducted Thursday. Overall, Obama leads by just 2.3 percent in the RealClearPolitics Average in Wisconsin, down from 6.6 percent two weeks ago.

The cavalry

Obama’s campaign has moved quickly over the last week to try to shore up support in a state the president won overwhelmingly four years ago. In addition to the vice president’s visits Friday, the campaign announced that the president himself will make a campaign stop next week in Green Bay. In another sign of Democrats’ concern over the tightening race in Wisconsin, earlier this week Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting the Obama campaign, bought advertising time in five media markets for the final week of the campaign.

Meeting the challenge

The Romney camp has also mobilized more resources to the state, apparently sensing a shift in momentum. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio stumped for Romney on Thursday in the heavily Republican area of Waukesha, just west of Milwaukee. RNC Chairman and Wisconsin native Reince Priebus barnstormed the state earlier in the week, and Romney is set to hold a “victory rally” in the Milwaukee area on Monday night.

The latest firewall

Along with Ohio and Iowa, Wisconsin represents what is being termed Obama’s “Midwest Firewall.” Ohio remains the focal point, thanks to the electoral math; whichever candidate wins the Buckeye State and its 18 electoral votes has a much easier route to reach the magic number of 270. But with Wisconsin (and Iowa) very much in play, the Romney campaign senses an opportunity to break through Obama’s firewall, and with the state’s 10 electoral votes in its column the Romney brain trust can suddenly see a potential path to the White House despite losing Ohio – something that would be unprecedented for a Republican presidential candidate.

Changing map

Under normal circumstances, the idea that a GOP nominee could lose a more traditionally Republican-leaning state like Ohio but win in historically less favorable territory like Wisconsin and Iowa — states Obama carried in 2008 by 14 and 9.5 percentage points, respectively — would appear to be a long shot. But this year is far from normal. Despite having suffered a decline of roughly four points or more in several other swing states since the first debate in early October, Obama’s lead has slipped less than half of that amount in Ohio. He appears to be “defying gravity” there — in the words of NBC News’ Chuck Todd — thanks in part to his stance on the auto bailout, heavy ad spending, an intense early voting effort, and a local economy performing better than the national average. In Wisconsin, however, it appears the laws of physics still apply. Obama has lost 5.3 percent in the RealClearPolitics Average in Wisconsin since October 3, the day of the first presidential debate.

Republican game changers

[T]he Romney campaign has two additional reasons to believe it can keep the president earthbound there.

  • The first is the choice of Paul Ryan, who represents the state’s 1st Congressional District in the southeastern part of the state and hails from Janesville. Ryan’s status as favorite son, and his ability to appeal to independent voters in the state, is suddenly more important than ever.
  • Second, Republicans believe the political machine they’ve built statewide over the past few years, largely to battle the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker, will make the difference for Romney on Election Day. That machine, which the Republicans test-drove back on June 5, performed exceedingly well: Walker turned out 1.3 million voters in the recall, more than 205,000 more than he did in his 2010 victory.

Early voting

Early voting started this week in Wisconsin, and Republicans say they got off to a good start. “Republican strongholds like Waukesha and Washington counties over-performed 2008, while Democratic strongholds like Dane County under-performed,” said Rick Wiley, political director for the Republican National Committee and former executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. But given the overwhelming size of Obama’s victory in Wisconsin four years ago, Republicans could out-perform 2008 by a significant amount but still come up on the losing end, especially if Democrats are able to avoid a substantial drop-off in enthusiasm.

Biased Media Alert: Ryan Did Wash Dirty Dishes During Soup Kitchen Visit

We have had at least 50 idiot Obamatons come on this site to claim Paul Ryan was washing clean dishes at the soup kitchen in Ohio.   At the end of the original post, I explain the what and why their claims were not true but that doesn’t stop these losers.  Now a media outlet decided to do their actual job and find out the truth:

Amid questions and criticisms related to Paul Ryan’s visit this weekend to an Ohio soup kitchen, the charity’s president said the Republican vice presidential candidate did, in fact, scrub dirty dishes though his visit wasn’t officially sanctioned.

The question of whether the Wisconsin congressman cleaned dishes that were actually dirty – as opposed to re-washing already clean dishes so as to get a good photo opportunity — Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society President Brian Antal clarified that Ryan did clean soiled dishes. This differs from what Antal had told The Washington Post Monday.

Speaking Tuesday morning with NBC News, Antal said he was not on-site when Ryan was at the soup kitchen and attributes his earlier comments that the dishes were clean when Ryan washed them to hearing the details second-hand from a volunteer.

Following a town hall meeting in Youngstown, OH on Saturday, Ryan — joined by his wife and three kids — made a quick stop at the St. Vincent De Paul Society shortly after the homeless people had breakfast. There were only volunteers left inside the building by the time Ryan arrived, as his public event ran longer than expected.

After arriving at the soup kitchen — where Secret Service agents and staff had gathered before the motorcade arrived — the Ryan family put on white aprons and proceeded to wash dishes for several minutes as cameras and still photographers snapped photos nearby.

In response to questions about Antal’s comments to the Washington Post that Ryan “did nothing” while at the soup kitchen, Antal said his words were mischaracterized. He told NBC News in that Ryan did very little work only compared to the larger context of Saturday morning, when the kitchen fed 180 homeless people breakfast. Antal conceded that Ryan did wash several dirty dishes.

Also note:

The Washington Post posted an updated article online Tuesday morning noting: “The head of an Ohio charity who criticized Mitt Romney’s campaign for staging a ‘photo-op’ at one of the group’s soup kitchens has consistently voted in Democratic primaries.”

Grading the Vice President Debate — Mark Halperin

This is what he does best:

Candidate grades are based on both performance and success in using the debate to improve their ticket’s standing in the election.

Ryan

Style: Started out understandably on edge, but used his natural confidence and born fighter verve to battle past his nerves. Did a mini-Romney, throughout: firm and tough, presented his case as planned, unflinchingly hard on the Obama administration without self-consciousness or overt hostility. Waited patiently to answer questions (in contrast to his opponent), then replied cleanly with prepared statements. Clearly rehearsed, but managed to appear candid and comfortable. A strong advocate for his boss, selling Romney generally as a “car guy” with big ideas, big skills, and a big heart.

Substance: Nitpicked at the Obama foreign policy, but didn’t wrap the criticism with a tight thematic bow. Neatly and purposefully blurred lines between the parties on Afghanistan, Iraq; tried to win the argument on taxes, but went more for smoothed edges on Medicare and Social Security. Surprisingly, didn’t talk up Romney’s specific plans very much, favoring an overview defense of conservative principles and a critique of Obama.

His worst moment: After wisely maintaining a cool façade in contrast to Biden’s stylistic antics for the early part of the debate, lost his rhythm and became too smug and smart alecky in his responses, forfeiting what could have been an even bigger edge.

His best moment: Hitting Biden on the rise in unemployment in his beloved hometown of Scranton, PA during the Obama years.

The main thing: Democrats and perhaps others will criticize him as light and vague, but for those who have never seen Ryan before, he came off well for a running mate. Intelligent, calm, and mature. Never took any big risks or descended into wonkiness. Added some polish to the Romney cause, although he did not supercharge the Denver momentum. His team will be happy with this performance, and Romney can approach his next debate without any residual distraction. Key for Ryan’s future, win or lose in November: solidified his hold on a top spot among party leaders.

Grade: B

Biden

Style: Way too manic for most of the debate. Grinning, twitching, laughing, smirking, interrupting, blinking, sighing, stammering. Palpably over-rehearsed, although so innately genuine, able to get away with it better than most politicians. Didn’t show much grace, even at times arguing with the moderator (an excellent Martha Raddatz). Interjected, lectured, and showed off too much. Sometimes tried to make too many points in quick succession, speaking more to insiders than the country at large. A classic Bidenesque upshot — endearing and energizing to supporters; nails-on-a-blackboard to detractors. Calmed down for the last third of the debate, allowing his points to formulate without competition from his own theatrical verbal and physical tics.

Substance: Offered strong, serious critiques of the Romney/Ryan records and plans, but often failed to link up his charges with a real-life implication for real people. Took pains to defend the President’s record and use the warehouse of knowledge in his head to indict the opposition. Left some unanswered questions on Benghazi that Republicans are sure to pursue.

His worst moment: His opening series of off-key laughs and forced smiles obscured much of his good work on the party’s high cards of taxes and Medicare, and on Romney’s thin critique of the administration’s national security record.

His best moment: Trumping the confusing back and forth on national security with a single tough and folksy line about the other ticket: “These guys bet against America all the time.”

The main thing: In a debate without much news or many breakthrough moments, Biden’s overheated style is almost sure to be the media, late-night laugher, and conservative takeaway from the ninety minutes. Biden didn’t commit any major disasters, but surrendered the gravitas edge. Democratic partisans will say he fought hard and schooled Ryan on every topic; many others will find his an odd, off-putting performance, far too lacking in the many attractive aspects of Biden’s personality. But his substantive strength and intense passion may soothe the frisson of agonized panic shivering through his party in the wake of the Denver disaster. Obama can borrow a few elements of Biden’s performance, but the over-the-top aggressiveness won’t be seen again on the Democratic side in the remaining two debates.

Grade: B-

Laughing at the Issues

Instant Twitter Reactions to the Vice President Debate

2 most important tweets of the night are regarding the view of Undecideds on CNN holding dials that go up and down depending on how they view the answers:

Post-debate reactions:

Begin Debate:

Switch to Domestic Issues

Vice President Debate Drinking Game

Unfortunately nothing from Conservative Intel on a Vice President debate drinking game so we’ll go with National Journal’s drinking game below.  But first our friends at Conservative Intel draw our attention to this absolutely hysterical video to get you ready for tonight’s fisticuffs:

Vice Presidential Debate Drinking Game

1-Drink Events

  • Joe Biden says “literally” about something that is not literal.
  • The middle class is said to have been “buried.”
  • Anyone says the word “wonk.”
  • Joe Biden says something that makes you or your debate-watch partner physically cringe.
  • Paul Ryan uses his mother as an example to pitch Romney’s Medicare plan.
  • Joe Biden tells an anecdote about a person from a swing state.
  • Paul Ryan deflects debate over the “Ryan budget” by saying he isn’t running on it.
  • Anyone says “lame duck,” “fiscal cliff,” or “sequester.”
  • Joe Biden refers to a policy or problem as being “a big … deal.” Take another few drinks if those ellipses are filled in.
  • Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., gets brought up by name.
  • The war in Afghanistan, now entering its 12th year, is mentioned.

2-Drink Events

  • Joe Biden says “literally,” and he means it.
  • Ayn Rand is mentioned by either candidate.
  • Joe Biden defends the stimulus and his role in overseeing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • The camera cuts away to an audience member gazing dreamily at Paul Ryan.
  • Joe Biden name checks a member of the audience.
  • Either candidate accuses the other of making Medicare unsustainable for people under age 55.
  • Joe Biden keeps up the Obama campaign’s push about Mitt Romney going after Big Bird.
  • Joe Biden accuses Paul Ryan of lying during the debate.
  • Paul Ryan brings up the contents of his iPod.
  • On Medicare, either candidate mentions the figure $716 billion.
  • Either candidate alludes to the historic age gap between them, which places Joe Biden in the Senate when Paul Ryan was only 2.
  • Anyone says “P90X.”

3-Drink, Red-Alarm Events

  • Paul Ryan or moderator Martha Raddatz says, in mock-Alaskan, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”
  • Joe Biden dons his Amtrak conductor’s hat.
  • Joe Biden misstates the name of the place in which he is debating.
  • Paul Ryan pulls out a well-worn copy of Atlas Shrugged and tells America who John Galt is.
  • Joe Biden takes out his prop chains.
  • Paul Ryan is accidently referred to as the Republican presidential nominee by anyone, including himself.
  • Joe Biden winks at Martha Raddatz.
  • Joe Biden compliments Mitt Romney, says he’s “articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” or some combination thereof.
  • Paul Ryan doubles-down and claims to have run a marathon in less time than it took Joe Biden to finish his Democratic National Convention speech.

The Iowa Poll Takeaways — Des Moines Register

Many state’s have one reporter that stands out among all others reporting on local politics.  In Wisconsin there is Craig Gilbert, Nevada has Jon Ralston and Iowa has Jennifer Jacobs. Easily the very best articles on the state have been penned by her and below is her detailed look at the recent Iowa Poll published in the Des Moines Register showing Obama with a 4-point lead but plenty of opportunity for Romney:

The election is all about an economy that Iowa voters think President Barack Obama has done too little to fix. A Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows Obama is ahead in Iowa 49 percent to 45 percent. But if Mitt Romney can convince voters that he truly knows how to doctor the nation’s ailing economy, the GOP presidential candidate can still put Iowa in his pocket, political analysts say. Half of Iowa adults disapprove of the job the Democratic president is doing on the economy, an issue that 59 percent of likely voters here rank as one of the most important, the poll found. Romney has built his campaign on the argument that his business knowledge, gained in building the private equity firm Bain Capital, better equips him than Obama to create jobs. Likely Iowa voters agree by a hefty 25 percentage points that the Republican nominee would better care for the needs of businesses. “The numbers are striking — that’s his opportunity that he’s not cashed in on,” said the Register’s pollster, J. Ann Selzer. “It’s just a huge opportunity.” But so far they’re not convinced Romney will do a better job of shoring up the economy. He trails slightly (47 percent to 46 percent) in voters’ perception of who would be the better economy fixer. The news from battleground Iowa, whose six electoral votes are a vital puzzle piece in the journey to 270, means there’s even more pressure on Romney to make a slam dunk case for his economic prowess during three presidential debates this fall. In the first debate, on Wednesday, three of six segments will focus on the economy.

Paul Ryan trumps Joe Biden

Another noteworthy finding: Although Iowa’s likely voters give Obama the nod at the top of the ticket, a strong majority believe Romney’s running mate, budget-and-deficit repairman Paul Ryan, is an asset. More likely voters think Vice President Joe Biden is a liability to the ticket than a lift.

Saturation campaigning and ads have voters attention

Thirty-seven days from Election Day, Iowa has few undecided voters left — just 2 percent. But 10 percent of likely voters say they could still change their minds. Of that group, more than half are independent voters.

Feeling better about Obama

As federal debt grows, gridlock confounds Congress, trouble spots heat up around the world and joblessness remains high, Iowans are feeling more optimistic. And for the first time in three years, Obama’s job approval in Iowa is above water. Seven months ago, Iowa was a trouble spot for Obama. More Iowa adults disapproved of the job he was doing as president (48 percent) than approved (46 percent). In hypothetical head-to-head matchups in mid-February, Obama trailed a trio of GOP candidates, including Romney, in the wake of intensive Republican messaging throughout the caucuses. Obama has mounted a vigorous counterattack: 10 days of campaigning in Iowa this year, 67 campaign offices opened, a successful Democratic convention and more than $13 million in TV ads here. The president’s job approval is nowhere close to his Iowa high of 68 percent shortly after he took office. But he has crossed a symbolic point crucial for re-election: More Iowans think he’s doing a good job as president (51 percent) than a bad job (47 percent).

Country on the wrong track, but …

Most Iowans, 54 percent, continue to believe the nation is on the wrong track, the poll found. But those who think the country is going in the right direction have increased by 10 percentage points since February. “When 10 percent more people think the country is headed in the right direction, that’s 10 percent less who feel the need for a change,” Castellanos said. It’s a big uptick, from 30 percent to 40 percent, even though the economy has remained sluggish. The government released revised growth statistics last week, downgrading second quarter growth from 1.7 percent to 1.3 percent. Strategists said there’s still wiggle room for attitudes about the economy to change. Two monthly jobs reports remain before Election Day and four debates — three presidential and one vice presidential. The fact that Iowans’ optimism has shifted so much since February signals how much voters can be moved, strategists said.

Voter perceptions

  • Obama leads Romney by 6 or more percentage points in voters’ perceptions of his ability to determine the future of Medicare, health care and tax policy, and to handle relations with other countries as well as military engagement in Afghanistan and tension in the Middle East.
  • Among all Iowans, 50 percent approve of Obama’s work on relations with other countries, but he has ticked down a couple of points since February, possibly tied to unrest in Libya or his positions on Israeli-Palestinian peace.
  • Meanwhile, he’s upside down on his job approval on health care and the economy. Obamacare is not helping him, but perceptions have improved since February.
  • So have opinions about his handling of the economy, up 7 percentage points since February, to 45 percent. Those gains helped push him to positive territory in overall job approval.
  • Romney’s big issue advantage: He has opened an 11-point lead in perceptions of his ability to reduce the federal deficit, one of the most important issues to 27 percent of likely voters, ranking third behind health care (31 percent). The economy leads the list by far (59 percent).
  • But among independent voters, Romney has a 5-point lead on the economy, and a 12-point lead on the deficit. If he can continue to drive that message, there’s opportunity to shake loose persuadable independents, strategists said.

Get out the vote

The Obama campaign is heavily focused on early voting, which began here last week. Its goal is to build a margin before Election Day, when Republicans tend to turn out more heavily than Democrats, strategists said.

Paul Ryan: “Right Solutions”

This is Paul Ryan’s first ad for his congressional campaign that is running simultaneously with the Presidential campaign.  What is hugely important about these ads is they will run in the exact markets Mitt Romney needs to do well in to win Wisconsin.  It’s not an accident Ryan is using his Congressional race to double-dip for the national ticket.  It’s a smart, efficient and strategic advantage to the great selection of Paul Ryan for Vice President:

Paul Ryan Google+ “Hangout” at 2pm EDT Today

“Hangout” with the future Vice President later today. Be sure to tune in at 2pm Eastern Time for a Google+ Hangout w/ volunteers from around the country!

Click Here to get to the “Hangout”:

Paul Ryan Rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado Thursday (Sep 6) 9:30am

Paul Ryan hits the Rocky Mountain State after a quick fundraising swing through Utah. Colorado remains a dead heat and Paul Ryan will be drumming up support tomorrow morning:
Victory Rally w/ Paul Ryan the GOP Team
When: September 6, 2012 – 9:30am
Where: WestPac Restorations, 765 Aviation Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80916

Attendees should park at 1575 Aviation Way where shuttles will be provided.

Doors Open 7:30 AM and the program begins at 9:30 AM

Click here to RSVP: http://cospringsryan.eventbrite.com

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

Questions: (720) 443-1517 or TeamCO@mittromney.com; For Important Campaign Updates: Text CO to GOMITT (466488)

Boy Scouts Greet Paul Ryan in Provo, Utah

Paul Ryan is doing some fundraising after his blowout rallies in Ohio and Iowa. Who is greeting him in Utah?

No, it’s not a Battleground State but I liked the photo.

Joe Biden versus Paul Ryan

As if you didn’t already know:

Asked for their one-word impression of Joe Biden, more people use negative than positive words to describe the vice president. Many of the negative words disparage Biden’s competence and performance, with idiot, incompetent and clown among the terms used most frequently. Of those offering a word to describe Biden, 38% use negative terms, while 23% give positive words.

When asked what one word comes to mind when thinking about Ryan, the most frequent responses are conservative, intelligent, good, unknown, and young. Of those offering a word, 37% describe Ryan in clearly positive terms, using such words as intelligent, good, energetic , honest and smart. Another 35% of the words used are clearly negative in tone, such as idiot, extreme, phony and scary.

The Wisconsin Battleground

The best political journalist in Wisconsin, Craig Gilbert, takes the temperature of Wisconsin and finds both sides ready fro battle and expecting victory in November:

However you rank the state, both sides agree it has become a much more alluring target for Republicans, because of Ryan’s selection and because of the massive upside of flipping Wisconsin from blue to red: it gives Romney many more paths to an electoral majority. Without Wisconsin, Romney has to win almost all the key contested states. If Romney loses Ohio, where he has trailed in the polls, winning Wisconsin is a virtual necessity.

The Ryan effect

While it’s widely assumed that Ryan’s home-state impact was not the driving factor in his selection by Romney, Madison-based Democratic pollster Paul Maslin questions that. “I think they wanted to put Wisconsin in play, and so far they’ve done it,” said Maslin, who also polls for Ryan’s Democratic congressional opponent, Rob Zerban. “You can’t ignore that, because without Wisconsin they have … no room for error.” At a panel here organized by the National Journal, a group of Democratic pollsters was asked which handful of states they envision the presidential candidates visiting on the crucial last day of campaigning this November. Democratic pollster Celinda Lake named Ohio, Colorado and Wisconsin. “What’s interesting is that Wisconsin has gotten more into play because of Ryan on the ticket,” she said. Asked if the state’s competitiveness surprised her, Lake said: “Not if you went through the recall of Scott Walker as we did with labor. It’s a very swing state.”

Fool’s gold?

Some Democrats in Charlotte argue Wisconsin is a political mirage for Republicans that will once again prove elusive for their presidential ticket. “I hope they spend quite a bit of time trying to win a state like Wisconsin that we won by 14 points (last time) … because that means they won’t be putting their resources elsewhere. Because we’re going to win Wisconsin,” said Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Zero to 100 in a flash

In fact, neither candidate has truly committed their resources to Wisconsin so far. Both sides tout their field organizations in the state. But Wisconsin wasn’t a consensus top-tier battleground until recently, and neither candidate has targeted the state in his TV advertising. Democrats have pointed to the lack of television ads by Romney as a sign Republican aren’t fully sold on their chances of winning the state. Republicans have pointed to Obama’s personal absence from the state (only one visit this year) to suggest Democrats are taking Wisconsin for granted. But all that’s expected to change soon. “You’re not gong to see us spare a whole lot” in Wisconsin, RNC chairman Priebus said of his home state. “By the time we get to November, they’ll see plenty of the President,” former senator Russ Feingold, a co-chair of the Obama campaign, said of Wisconsin voters. “I don’t think anyone is going to see it as being taken for granted.”

Ryan Addresses Overflow Crowd from the Bed of a Pickup

No sense on the size of the overflow crowd from the video but the report below says 700 were filtered to a campus theater. The auditorium was packed to capacity at 2100 even though the report says 2000. Here is some details from the event:

Ryan spoke before a crowd of 2,000 at East Carolina University’s Student Recreation Center. Another 700 people were watched a live broadcast from nearby Hendrix Theater, officials said. With hundreds still in line and ECU’s Student Recreation Center near capacity at 1:07 p.m., Hendrix Theater in Mendenhall Student Center was being opened so an overflow crowd could watch a live broadcast of the Repulican vice presidential candidate’s appearance…More than 900 people had entered the Student Recreation Center gym by 12:30 p.m. Another 1,000 people were expected to be allowed in the facility…Lines of GOP faithful extended to McDonald’s on 10th Street and withstood a morning rain to hear Mitt Romney’s running mate speak on Labor Day…More than 100 people had lined up to see Ryan by 9 a.m. despite thunder, lightning and pouring rain. Thunderstorms that dumped rain on the Greenville area early began subsiding by 10. Robert Nunnery and Justin Murilo from UNC Pembroke were first in line at the recreation center at 7 a.m. The two left school at 4:30 a.m. to ensure good seats…Crowds filed through airport-like security at the facility. The Mitt Romney for President campaign said it had given out several thousand tickets to the event. Up to 2,100 could be allowed inside.

What Did Paul Ryan Say About the Janesville GM Plant?

The Obama surrogates in the mainstream media are aflutter about some things in Paul Ryan’s speech last night regarding the now-shuttered General Motors plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. Here are Ryan’s words:

When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.”  That’s what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year.  It is locked up and empty to this day.  And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.

This passage says Obama promised that with government support, the plant will stay open. Full stop.

The government gave General Motors $80 billion beginning in late-2008 and the Janesville plant was still shut down. This is a critique is about broken promises and misguided government bailouts.

The mainstream media, in full Obama re-election mode, have their panties in a bunch claiming that Ryan said things that are nowhere in this speech.  So they are fact-checking things he didn’t say to manipulate his words into something they can criticize.

The media want to claim Ryan is blaming Obama for closing the plant. That is neither what Ryan said nor what is even implied.

Ryan opens by saying the factory was already in peril when Obama showed up (“where we were about to lose a major factory”). Obama then articulated his view on government supporting businesses to achieve future success (“if our government is there to support you …this plant will be here for another hundred years”). This is something Ryan has previously criticized countless times as taking taxpayer dollars and picking winners and losers. And just like the hundreds of millions wasted on now-shuttered companies like Solyndra, the government bailed out General Motors with $80 billion yet the Janesville factory was still closed within a year (“that plant didn’t last another year”).

This passage is a stinging rebuke of Obamanomics where making grand promises of government intervention as the path to prosperity gives way to the reality of shuttered factories despite unprecedented levels of tax-payer support used to prop up political constituencies of the later mentioned “central planners.”

That is not what the self-appointed fact-checkers are checking because to do so would be to admit the disconnect between the grandiose promises of the Obama 2008 campaign and the failed reality of his dismal economic record.

Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech

Twitter Reactions throughout the Paul Ryan Speech (Reverse Order)

Ryan Rally in Janesville, Wisconsin Monday (Aug 27) 10:45am

The Republican Convention kicks-off next week and Paul Ryan is heading home to Wisconsin from the campaign trail before leaving for Tampa.  You can join the groundswell of support for the future Vice President in his home town:

Convention Send-Off Rally with Paul Ryan with Janesville!

When: August 27, 2012 – 10:45am
Where: Janesville Craig High School, 401 South Randall Avenue, Janesville, WI 53545

You’re welcome to attend a Convention Send-Off Rally with Paul Ryan. Doors open at 8:45 AM and the event begins at 10:45 AM.

To RSVP and get your ticket, click here: http://conventionsendoff.eventbrite.com/

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

For Questions, contact us at: TeamWI@mittromney.com or call (608) 535-9307; For Important Campaign Updates: Text (WI) to GOMITT (466488)

Paul Ryan Passing Out Cookies to the Campaign Press

Photos compliments of Felicia Sonmez and John Boxley:

A Chicago “cabal” convinced Obama to let Paul Ryan lead on budget reform — Erskin Bowles

John Sexton at Breitbart.com unearths this video of Erskin Bowles discussing the President’s failure to support hiw own commission, Simpson-Bowles:

Question: Your presidential commission delivered your report in December. How surprised were you that your commission gave the president tremendous coverage to do something, and it wasn’t even mentioned in the State of the Union?

Erskin Bowles: If you think you were surprised, you should have looked at us. I negotiated the budget for President Clinton. And every investment banker will tell you the key to success is knowing your client and defining success up front. So, I knew what success was on his part, and I could go in there and negotiate the deal. I did not know President Obama, and neither did Alan. So, we spent a tremendous amount of time with him and his economic team up front defining success. And we negotiated a deal that got a majority of Republicans to vote for it, so he had plenty of cover on the other side. It also exceeded every single one of the goals that he had given us. I fully expected them to grab hold of this. If it had been President Clinton, he would have said, “God, I created this, this is wonderful. It was all my idea.” So we were really surprised.

My belief is that most of the members of the economic team strongly supported it. Like every White House, there’s a small cabal of people that surround the president that he trusts and works with, and I believe it was those Chicago guys, the political team that convinced him that it would be smarter for him to wait and let Paul Ryan go first, and then he would look like the sensible guy in the game.

“This is my mom Betty, say Hi to my mom” — Paul Ryan

Here was the introduction to Paul Ryan’s “Protect and Strengthen Medicare” speech in The Villages, Florida:

Paul Ryan’s Speech on Medicare Today in The Villages, Florida

Below is the 4:35 video of Paul Ryan’s speech today where he discusses medicare. Here is the Associated Press summary:

Vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan says his family relied on Medicare to take care of his grandmother, and his mother now counts on the program in retirement. Ryan on Saturday told a mostly older audience in a large Florida retirement community that Republicans will protect those in or near retirement from Medicare cuts if Mitt Romney wins the White House. Ryan pointed to his 78-year-old mother who joined him. He says he isn’t going to hurt his mother’s financial security and wouldn’t hurt others, either. He says he saw first-hand Medicare’s benefits as a child when his grandmother, with Alzheimer’s, moved in with his family. However, the 42-year-old congressman says the program needs to be overhauled during his generation so his children will be able to count on it, too.

Image from Paul Ryan at The Villages, Florida: “Protect and Strengthen Medicare”

Paul Ryan in 1998 On His Family’s Roots in Wisconsin

Some background on Paul Ryan ahead of his speech in The Villages, Florida

 

 

Paul Ryan at The Villages in Florida: Live at 10am

Today at 10am at the Town Square, Lake Sumter Landing Paul Ryan is expected to take the stage in The Villages, Florida to speak with tens of several thousands (the pain meds must have made me inflate the #s) of seniors about reforms to medicare and the Romney campaign.

C-Span Live Feed HERE.

Fox News Live Feed HERE.

WESH Orlando Live Feed HERE.

I’ll try to embed the live stream video, but at worst the link above will have Ryan’s speech.

UPDATE:  The official schedule is running late but both feeds above will have the speeches live once the program begins in earnest.

And we’re live with Ryan on stage starting at 10:26am.

UPDATE II: With the speech completed, here is a video of the medicare portion of his speech.

What Paul Ryan’s Week Reveals About Romney Campaign Strategies

The Washington Post takes in all of Paul Ryan’s first week on the campaign trail and gleans some insights into the Romney camp’s thinking when it comes to the Vice President nominee:

  • The campaign appears to believe that the Wisconsin congressman is able to be deployed in most any battleground state — He has visited Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and Florida in the past six days.
  • Venues in which Ryan has addressed voters thus far have largely been the same — high school and college gymnasium.
  • Ryan is not likely to play the typical vice presidential role of campaign-trail “attack dog” — and that when it comes to himself and Mitt Romney, those roles appear very much to be reversed.
  • Both GOP candidates have talked about offering Americans “solutions” but Ryan drives home that message to voters in a largely positive way (this dichotomy is not accidental).
  • Ryan speaks of forging a “covenant” and of “deserving victory” as he did Thursday in Oxford, Ohio, or pledging to supporters Tuesday night at Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas that the GOP ticket is not just about opposing Obama.
  • If there’s a candidate who has shown flashes of anger this week, it’s been Romney.
  • the Wisconsin congressman does not talk much about his own biography on the stump (especially relative to other potential VPs like Rubio and Pawlenty). He appears to take care not to overshadow the man at the top of the ticket, on whose life story and achievements he tends to focus more than his own.
  • Ryan’s deep, personal Capitol Hill relationships are clear at every campaign stop.
  • When it comes to retail politicking, Ryan tends to ask voters their names and introduces himself simply as Paul.

Ryan Supporters Crowd Image versus Ryan Protestors Crowd Image

Every press reporter covering the Ryan events writes/tweets about the principle speech facility filled to capacity and even the auxiliary facility for overflow crowds filled to capacity.  The DNC and Obama campaign said they are sending protestors to Romney and Ryan rallies to challenge the candidates.    Let’s get a visual on the enthusiasm generated by Ryan (on the left) and by the protestors (on the right):

The Ryan Bounce — Campaign Metrics

The bottom line with any “bounce” are polling numbers and driving voters to actually vote in November.  We’ll see what transpires in November but polling already shows momentum for Romney.  The campaign itself, though, released some internal data on what the Ryan pick has added to the Romney ticket.

Since the announcement in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday:

Online Fundraising:

  • Donations: 124,800+
  • Amount: $10,157,947
  • Average Donation: $81
  • % New Donors: 68%
  • Site Traffic: Total: 2,000,000
  • Desktop: 1,560,000
  • Mobile: 440,000

Mitt Romney Social Media:

  • Facebook: +510,000, Now 4,360,000
  • Twitter: +54,000, Now 861,000

Paul Ryan Social:

  • Facebook: +860,000
  • Twitter: +118,500

Volunteers: 45,000+ sign up to volunteer online

Polling data shows Romney gaining since the announcement. Both Gallup and Rasmussen show us leading Obama in national polling, and recent statewide polling shows us picking up ground in Ohio and Virginia.

Romney and Ryan to Reunite in New Hampshire Monday

The whirlwind cross-country barnstorming of America’s Comeback Team is almost complete.  Paul Ryan has a couple stops in Virginia tomorrow and then the big showdown at The Villages, Florida where he should throw down the gauntlet on the medicare debate. Mitt Romney has some fundraisers and then will meet up with Ryan in New Hampshire Monday where the two will host a town hall to remain engaged with the public:

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will reunite on Monday – just over a week after Romney introduced Ryan as his No. 2 – in New Hampshire, a campaign aide said Thursday, the state where Romney’s announcement was originally set to take place. Romney and Ryan campaigned together on Saturday and Sunday, then parted ways Sunday night with a handshake after a rally in Wisconsin, Ryan’s home state. Their Monday event will be a town hall meeting at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, an official at the venue said. The most recent poll of New Hampshire, which included voters contacted before and after the Ryan announcement, showed the race between Romney and President Barack Obama is statistically tied: 49% for Obama and 46% for Romney. Romney owns a house in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Thus far the roll-out has been stupendous and the polling reflects the ruthless efficiency and clarity of message that embodies the Romney campaign now that Ryan is on board.  Obama’s surrogates in the media continue to carry water on nonsensical issues like Romney’s taxes or some other contrived issue  wholly irrelevant to an economic turnaround that is top of mind with all voters.

Paul Ryan on Medicare: ‘We will win this debate’

One of the major strategic reasons for the Romney campaign selecting Paul Ryan as the Vice President was his ability and willingness of to take the fight to the Obama campaign on substantive issues in contrast to their divisive campaign of “slash and burn.”  The Obama campaign and his surrogates in the media instantly concluded that Ryan’s seriousness in dealing with the nation’s fiscal issues would drive voters away from Romney in Battleground states due to his medicare overhaul.  Of course, for that to be true, the Democrats would have to repeated lie about Ryan’s proposals and the media would need to uncritically repeat those lies despite the fact that this is the Romney campaign and it is his proposals they are running on. But no matter, you can’t let little things like that tie you up when you have no record to run on and Obama’s only hope is to “kill” Romney such that voters find him unpalatable in November.

Some interesting things have been happening however. The often compliant media has developed a bit of a spine and Wolf Blitzer refused to let Democrat National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz repeatedly lie about Ryan’s plan. And Romney campaign surrogates who had been passive in the past playing a mind-boggling “prevent defense” in a general election campaign they weren’t even winning suddenly unleashed a factual fury on live TV that has to scare “in-the-tank” news anchors everywhere. That was John Sununu at his finest.

Enter Paul Ryan. Bold, articulate and primed to fight the Obama campaign lies head on:

Paul Ryan spoke about the issue of Medicare for the first time since being tapped as Mitt Romney’s running mate, telling a crowd of about 3,000 people Wednesday night at his alma mater, Ohio’s Miami University, that the conversation is one that Republicans welcome. “The president, I’m told, is talking about Medicare today,” said Ryan, who graduated from the school in 1992 with a B.A. in economics and political science. “We want this debate. We need this debate. And we will win this debate.” As Republicans have done in recent days, Ryan took aim at Obama for $716 billion in Medicare Advantage savings over the next decade as a result of the national health care law. Ryan argued that the White House “raided it to pay for Obamacare.”

“The president’s campaign says this raid of Medicare to pay for Obamacare, which leads to fewer services for current seniors, is an achievement,” Ryan said. “Do you think raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare is an achievement?” “No!” yelled the crowd at the Miami University Engineering Quad, which was a mix of students and older supporters. “Well, neither do I. … It’s not right. He knows it. He can’t defend it,” Ryan said.

This is only the beginning of the medicare fight and Ryan’s focus thus far has been first Romney’s plan to turn the economy around (Iowa), second Obama’s failed energy policies (Colorado) and third Obama’s failed economic policies (Ohio).  Now the medicare fight is only beginning and Ryan is expected in Florida to attack this head on. Let’s see when the Obama surrogates in the media begin to admit:

a) Romney is the candidate for President
b) It’s Romney’s plan they are running on, not Ryan’s
c) When Obama chose Biden no one accused Obama of wanting to partition Iraq into three tribal countries (Biden’s plan)
d) Obama cannot run on an economic record so he has no answer to Ryan’s economic critiques and even the Washington Post writes that Romney’s criticism of Obama medicare cuts and dishonest Obamacare accounting is accurate

Republicans should never expect a fair shake from the media but they can challenge the media to be less dishonest and bring the fight to the Obama campaign. The actions of the Romney campaign and the selection of Paul Ryan indicates they are more than prepared to have this medicare fight to secure the solvency of this country.  It’s a fight the country needs to have and it’s a fight someone as dogged as Paul Ryan can win.

Game on.